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Big Sky Questions

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
We are heading out to Big Sky on the 7th to the 14th and had a few questions. First of all any restaurant suggestions? We are going to be snowmobiling on our day off and were wondering which of the tours were the best. And lastly and most importantly any favorite runs/ areas there? We have a mix of expert and intermediate skiers and are looking for any tips to maximize our fun.
Thanks and Happy skiing,
post #2 of 13
Skied Big Sky 12/9, 12/10 and combined w/ Moonlight 12/11. No crowds. I think every lift except for the Tram has at least an intermediate way down. Everyone should ride the tram, and those that choose not to ski the peak can tram back down. Moonight is worth a day IMO. It's on the north side of the mountain so it is in the shade this time of year. Drove to the Coral for dinner one night, it was OK - not great. Probably would not make the drive again. Everyone is real helpful at Big Sky - you're in for a Big time. Here's some pics from 12/9-11 to get you goin'.
post #3 of 13
Nice, *****. Brings back ESA memories from last year!
post #4 of 13
When you get off the highway and head up to Big Sky, there's a Best Western there. The restaurant is amazing. I believe their specialty is wild game. If you're staying right at Big Sky, then it's about 10 miles away.

As far as snowmobile tours go, I think West Yellowstone is your best bet.

Big Sky is a huge mountain, so just explore. I don't think you can go wrong. Definitely ride the tram.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 


thanks for the feedback
post #6 of 13
Here is a quick list for you:

Bakeries -

Wheat, Montana - On Hwy 191 about 0.2 miles past the turn off. Sort of touristy but a good place to stock up on muffins and pastries.

Blue Moon Bakery - In the lower Westfork Meadows area. Great pastries & decadent cookies. Their pizza by the slice is good. My friends that have eaten breakfast there have been impressed.

Breakfast -

Huckleberry Cafe - About 1 to 2 miles after you turn off. Good breakfasts.

Lunch -

Moonlight Lodge Bar - Great burgers, sandwiches & sweet potato fries. Best lunch on the mountain. Can be accessed with a Big Sky lift ticket.

Deli in Moonlight Lodge - Good reubens & sandwiches.

Dugout - At the top of Ramcharger lift. Good burgers. If its sunny its a great place to grab a beer and sit outside.

Cafeteria in the mall - Reasonable prices for a ski resort cafeteria with decent food and large portions.

Dinner -

Bambu's - In the Arrowhead building near the Summit Hotel. Good Asian cuisine and a popular place for the locals to drink.

Black Bear Bar & Grill - Not known as a place to eat (though you can get a decent burger there), but a popular place to grab a beer and hang out. Drive through the Big Sky parking area, around the corner and it will be on the right as you start going uphill again.

Buck T-4 - On 191 1/2 mile past the Big Sky turn-off. Its in a Best Western motel but don't let that fool you. Its a great place to get a slab of meat, whether you're looking for beef or something more exotic like elk or buffalo.

Milkies Pizza and Pub - Westfork Meadows area. Decent pizza.

I'll post something about skiing the area later.
post #7 of 13
Big Sky is great! Moonlight would be fun if there is good snow (unless the snowmaking has been installed since we visited last year). Moonlight holds snow longer, but will be icy in the am if there isn't fresh stuff. There are never crowds at either.
I would definitely ski off the Ramcharger, Thunder Wolf and Lone Peak Triple Chair lifts. Off Ram Charger and Thunder Wolf Elk Park Run, MadWolf and Ambush are long cruisers both blue and black if I recall correctly. Congo, Africa(if you like bumps). Everything off of the Lone Peak Triple Chair and if you are very daring, take the Gondola and do Liberty Bowl.
As far as eating...I would definitely hit Buck's T-4(awesome food, great game, one of the best meals I have had skiing anywhere) and Bambu for Asian/sushi. I heard Mikie's Pizza was good.
Snowmobile Yellowstone if you have a whole day. I have friends who did it and loved it. If not, Gallatin Canyon is great as well. We were going to use Rendezvous but had white out conditions that day and they recommended us not going (which I thought was great considering they could have just taken our money and we would have seen nothing and not had fun).
You will be happy with Big Sky, it is a great ski destination with very diverse terrain, although not there is not alot to do otherwise if you are into that apres ski thing or have people who don't ski.
Rio is a great source for anything and everything about Big Sky. He helped me tremendously last year when we went!!!
post #8 of 13
If you live where you can get really good Asian/sushi, you might be disappointed by Bambu. The food is pretty average.

Definitely the best food around is at Buck's T-4 in the Best Western at the foot of the access road. They run a shuttle at night for dinner if you don't have a car and are staying at the village or along the access road.

As far as I know, the Dugout at the top of the Ramcharge lift has not been rebuilt since it burned down this past March. We were there right after the fire--what a shame! They had great BBQ.

The Cabin Bar & Grill in the base village is excellent. MR Hummers has great baby back ribs, prime rib and steaks (portions are big too).

As for skiing, one of the nice things about Big Sky is your group of advanced/experts can head to the top and ski a few hours (don't miss skiing off Challenger lift), then meet everyone else for lunch and ski the rest of the day on some very fun intermediate trails. That's what I did when I went with my Mom. It's very rare that a mountain has great intermediate runs that both intermediates and higher-level skiers can enjoy. Also, there are many opportunities for higher-level skiers to drop off intermediate trails for more challenging terrain, then meet back up with the group at or near the lift.

Big Sky is a great mountain to explore, and exploring, to me, is what makes skiing a new resort so much fun. Here are a few things we discovered that hopefully will give you a good start:

Want a really long run that will leave you weak in the knees? Start with the steeps of Lenin to wide-open Liberty Bowl to Dakota Gully to the delightful trees of Bavarian Forest. Hippy Highway then funnels you back from the boundary edge to the Shedhorn lift.

Andesite Mountain is a gem of a secret for advanced and expert terrain. It's all below treeline, so you'll find glades like Rock Pocket, Snake Pit and Bear Lair, as well as some bump runs like Mad Wolf and Broken Arrow that will make your legs scream for a break. For a rollicking time in the trees, drop off Pacifier into The Congo, which eventually drops you out on Safari.

When hunting for the last of the powder, try the glades off the Challenger lift, head to Andesite, especially off the Lone Moose Triple, or leap into Buffalo Jump and Rice Bowl under the Swift Current lift.

For advanced-intermediates, trails off the Shedhorn lift are south-facing and get plenty of sun at times when the lower mountain is in the shade. Upper Sunlight to Sunlight is absolutely delightful. Views are of the backcountry and you'll feel a world away from the rest of the resort.

I think Rendevouz Snowmobiles is the best-known for its tours into Yellowstone. They also do snowcoach tours, which we did when we were there. Their guides are quite knowledgeable and entertaining.

post #9 of 13
I skied Big Sky Sunday. Overall, coverage is good; great for this early. All the mainstream runs off of Lone Moose, Thunder Wolf, Southern Comfort, Ramcharger and Swift Current have good coverage. The upper mountain has very good coverage, but due to winds there area still parts that are sketchy but that's true no matter much snow there is.
post #10 of 13

Big Sky warnings

One of the best things about skiing at Big Sky is the great variety of sun exposures, wind exposures and altitudes on the mountain. This allows for a great varieties of conditions so you can always find something good to ski. The downside is you can experience a great variety of temperatures in a short time. Pay attention to your body temperature especially if you are planning to be out for a long time. Also, use sun block in the morning and at lunch no matter where you're skiing.

When skiing the Challenger chair, the north side of the Lone Mountain Bowl, runs off the tram and runs on Shedhorn don't be lured into any wide open tracks of powder that have not been skied. Chances are there is a jagged rock field right below the surface.

If going to Shedhorn (which is a great place to ski on powder days) try to use the tram to get there. Cow Flats is flat and can be a real ordeal for boarders and slow skiers. If you don't want to use the tram traverse over to Pack Saddle then over to Dude Park.
post #11 of 13

Bugaboo Cafe

Another great restaurant option for dinner near Big Sky is Bugaboo Cafe, on the right off of 191 as you're headed up to Big Sky (right before the Conoco station). It's not "fancy" but the food is definitely a cut above the usual. Call for hours first, as they seem to change seasonally.
post #12 of 13
Brett, a group of cheezeheads coming to the really big sky eh? Bring a case of Point Beer and get a free tour!

The resturant suggestions have been pretty well covered so I will skip those except to say if you are in the meadow area, the Wrap Shack by Milkies does a great wrap.

The Snowmobile tour operators are all good, Canyon Adventures is a reputable operation.

A couple of items of note: Spirits of the North does dogsled trips that are, well a trip, you get to drive with a co-pilot.

Madison Lodge at MLB is as good an on mountain dining experience as you will find here for a reasonable price, the Dugout is DOA.

Moonlight Lodge is good and shouldn't be as busy this week as the last 2. We are in an in between week so you shouldn't feel crowded.

Forecast is for snow off & on beginning tomorow. If you are flying in to Bozeman and cooking & dining in at all, shop at the Albertsons in Belgrade before making the drive up. You will save mucho $$$.

Take your time on 191 when driving south, if you are driving slower than the rest of the traffic, use the multitude of turnouts to get the traffic behind you in front of you.

When we get fresh snow this week, spend the extra bit of cash and demo a pair of mid-fat skis like the Rossi B4 or a similar ski, get it shorter than you are used to skiing. Your smile will be very BIG!

Have a great time here, I know I do. Been here since 1991.
post #13 of 13
Skibum -

How was your trip?
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